Almost every type of retro indicator technology from a Nixie tube to a flipdot with everything else in between has found itself on these pages in some form of artwork or decoration. It’s pleasing then to see one that hasn’t appeared so much over the years, and particularly at the hands of our colleague [Voja Antonic]. He’s taken a large array of moving-coil panel meters and hooked them up to a microcontroller board that’s triggered by a PIR sensor. Normally the readings are random, but get too close to it and all those needles start moving, making for a very different take on an electronic wall display.
He’s not given us the details of the control circuit he’s used, but in a sense that matters little. We think any Hackaday reader who knows one end of a soldering iron from the other should be able to produce a small DC current from a DAC to drive a meter, and we don’t think the software to make random readings would trouble many of you either.
Meanwhile [Voja] has produced so many interesting projects over the years, not least the 2022 Superconference badge. Here’s one from a few years ago.
Some people like spinach in their salads. Others would prefer it if it never gets near their fork. Still, other folks, like [Almudena Romero], use it for printing pictures, and they’re the folks we’ll focus on today.
Anthotypes are positive images made from plant dyes that fade from light exposure. Imagine you stain your shirt at a picnic and leave it in the sun with a fork covering part of the stain. When you come back, the stain not sheltered by cutlery is gone, but now you have a permanent fork shape logo made from aunt Bev’s BBQ sauce. The science behind this type of printmaking is beautifully covered in the video below the break. You see, some plant dyes are not suitable for light bleaching, and fewer still if you are not patient since stains like blueberry can take a month in the sun.
The video shows how to make your own plant dye, which has possibilities outside of anthotype printing. Since the dye fades in sunlight, it can be a temporary paint, or you could use samples all over your garden to find which parts get lots of sunlight since the most exposed swatches will be faded the most. Think of a low-tech UV meter with logging, but it runs on spinach.
If the science doesn’t intrigue you, the artistic possibilities are equally cool. All the pictures have a one-of-a-kind, wabi-sabi flare. You take your favorite photo, make it monochrome, print it on a transparent plastic sheet, and the ink will shield the dye and expose the rest. We just gave you a tip about finding the sunniest spot outdoors, so get staining.
Anthotype printing shares some similarities with etch-resist in circuit board printing processes, but maybe someone can remix spinach prints with laser exposure!
Continue reading “Spinach Photo Prints” →
Having the tools needed to do a job is a powerful thing. Having the tools needed to make more tools for doing cool things is even better, though, and that’s where [Jiří Praus] took things with this 3D-printed jig for making his blooming tulip circuit sculpture.
If you haven’t seen [Jiří]’s tulip, check out our coverage from back when he first built it. The brass wire and tube mechanism and some clever linkages let a single servo open the Neopixel-adorned petals at a touch. But what started as a one-off romantic gesture for his wife on Valentine’s Day became something more, and what was a labor of love turned into just labor very quickly. [Jiří]’s solution, explained in the brief video below, is a 3D-printed jig that holds all the wires that form the tulip petals locked into position. The wire that defines the spine of the petal goes into a groove and gets held down with removable clips. The edge wires are held by rotating clips, and the veins of the petals just lay in place in grooves. The area around each joint is hollowed out so [Jiří] can solder easily without melting the plastic jig.
The best part comes at the end, when it’s time to release the completed petal. For that, a tool with pins that looks a little like a hedgehog is inserted from below, and pins that fit into each joint’s hole pop the finished petal off. We can see how this tool would greatly increase the production of his tulips, so if that’s his goal, he’s on track.
If you’re into circuit sculpture, you’re in the right place. Check out [Mohit Bhoite]’s Supercon talk on the subject, or some more of the tools [Jiří] has come up with to improve his art.
Continue reading “3D-Printed Tools Make Circuit Sculpture A Little Easier” →
One of the most interesting streams through which we receive new projects to write about here at Hackaday comes from the intersection between technologists and artists. Those artists who straddle both disciplines bring creativity that those of us without their backgrounds can only dream of. The artist [Rosa Francesca] produced a piece called Cinematica, in which she monitored her brain waves with an EEG and from them produced on-paper visualizations with a pen plotter.
The hardware in use is an Interaxon Muse EEG headband read through the Muse Monitor app, and some code to drive an Evil Mad Scientist AxiDraw V3 plotter via its serial port. The write-up goes in some depth into the different types of brain waves, explaining her choice of monitoring gamma and theta waves for her source data. The result is a series of repeating shapes that vary with the brain waves of the wearer, creating drawings that are both pleasing and unique.
If you’re interested by the Muse headset used in this artwork, you might find a teardown we covered a few years ago to be of interest. And if you’re tempted by the plotter, you can always try making your own.
Thanks, @tanurai for the tip!
[Michael Karliner]’s Belshazzar, named for the Biblical character upon whose wall the writing appeared, is a unique light painting machine, that tracks an array of UV LEDs across a glow-in-the-dark background to paint transient dot-matrix letters in light. It was one of many cyberpunk-themed art pieces in Null Sector at the 2018 Electromagnetic Field hacker camp this summer.
The row of LEDs hangs down from a carriage that traverses a tubular rail, and is edged forward by means of a stepper motor driving a roller. This arrangement delivers the benefit that it can be scaled for displays of any length. The LEDs are driven from an Arduino via a Texas Instruments TLC5940 PWM driver ship.The result can be seen in the video below the break, and those who saw it at EMF may remember it tracing suitably dystopian phrases.
Continue reading “The (UV) Writing’s On The Wall” →
Digital picture frames were a fad awhile back, and you can still pick them up at the local big box store. [Ishac Bertran] and [Jonathan Wohl] decided to go open source with digital frames and create the openframe project. The open-source project uses a Raspberry Pi with WiFi and either an HDMI monitor or a monitor that the Pi can drive (e.g., a VGA with an HDMI adapter).
You are probably thinking: Why not just let the Pi display images? The benefit of openframe is you can remotely manage your frames at the openframe.io site. You can push images, websites (like Hackaday.com) or shaders out to any of your frames. You can also draw on public streams of artwork posted by other users.
Continue reading “Raspberry Pi Art Frame Using OpenFrame” →
Something very beautiful appeared in our feed this evening, something that has to be shared. [Duncan Malashock] has created an animation of raindrops creating ripples. Very pretty, you might say, but where’s the hack? The answer is, he’s done it as a piece of vector display work on an oscilloscope.
He’s using [Trammell Hudson’s] V.st Teensy-powered vector graphics board. We’ve featured this board before, but then it was playing vector games rather than today’s piece of artwork. The ‘scope in question is slightly unusual, a Leader LBO-51, a device optimized for vector work rather than the general purpose ‘scopes we might be used to. The artwork is written using Processing, and all the code is available in a GitHub repository.
So sit back and enjoy the artwork unfolding in the video. We look forward to more work featuring this hardware.
Continue reading “Raindrops On An Oscilloscope” →